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CPS Direct provides charging advice/authorisation by phone and electronically to police forces at all hours.
The Casework Divisions deal with prosecutions requiring specialist knowledge and experience: The Attorney General oversees the work of the CPS, meeting regularly with the DPP and requesting briefings on matters of public or Parliamentary concern.
The Attorney General (or their deputy, the Solicitor General) answer for the CPS's performance and conduct in Parliament.
Headquartered in London and York, the CPS manages the organisation, sets policies and handles corporate matters (such as finance and communications).
The Director of Public Prosecutions is assisted by the CPS Chief Executive in running the organisation.
This includes clarifying the intent needed to commit an offence or addressing shortcomings in the available evidence.
Unlike in many other jurisdictions, the CPS has no power to order investigations or direct investigators to take action.
Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) is responsible for inspecting the work of the CPS.
The CPS will often provide confidential advice to investigators on the viability of a prosecution in complex or unusual cases.
Sir John Maule was appointed to be the first Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales in 1880, operating under the Home Office; his jurisdiction was only for decisions as to whether to prosecute in a very small number of difficult or important cases; once prosecution had been authorised, the matter was turned over to the Treasury Solicitor.
Police forces continued to be responsible for the bulk of cases, sometimes referring difficult ones to the Director.